Papaya is a delicate tropical fruit that comes from a family of Caricaceae. It is round, plump, and in yellowish-orange color. Papaya’s bright shade, sweet taste, and the wide range of medical advantages make them a popular fruit. Papayas develop in tropical areas and are otherwise called pawpaws or papaws.
Taste varies between ripe and unripe papaya. Unripe papaya has no flavor, while the ripe papaya has a sweet taste. Though the orange-colored flesh is tempting, many don’t like papayas because of the slightly bitter taste.
Papayas are a delicate, fleshy organic fruit that contains numerous health benefits. Read the rest of the article to know more about the medical advantages, uses, and the dietary benefits of papayas.
Nutritional value per 100 g
|Energy||179 kJ (43 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||1.7 g|
|lutein zeaxanthin||89 μg|
|Thiamine (B1)||0.023 mg|
|Riboflavin (B2)||0.027 mg|
|Niacin (B3)||0.357 mg|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.191 mg|
|Folate (B9)||38 μg|
|Vitamin C||62 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.3 mg|
|Vitamin K||2.6 μg|
Health Benefits of Papaya
1. Reduces Cancer Risk
Consuming papaya may reduce the risk of cancer as it has the antioxidant beta-carotene. Several studies have shown that a daily dose of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and flavonoids may prevent cancer cells’ development. Regular intake of papaya might reduce colon and prostate cancer. Beta-carotene rich diets play a vital role in protecting young men against prostate cancer (1).
2. Treats Diabetes
Small papaya provides 3 gms of fiber. Following a high fiber diet, individuals with type 1 diabetes may have low blood glucose levels, and individuals with type 2 diabetes may have improved insulin, lipid, and glucose levels.
3. Lowers Cholesterol
Papayas help prevent the rise of cholesterol in your arteries because they are rich in fiber, Vitamin C, and antioxidants. Higher the cholesterol level higher is the risk of coronary diseases, including stroke, heart attack, and hypertension.
4. Improves Digestion
Papaya helps to prevent constipation as it is high in fiber and water content. It promotes a healthy digestive tract. Also, papain an enzyme present in papaya aids in breaking down the food, which results in proper digestion (2). Daily intake of papaya has numerous benefits, such as helping the liver to digest saturated fats and maintaining a healthy body.
5. Prevents Heart Disease
Papaya is rich in fiber, potassium, and vitamin content helps to avoid heart diseases. Potassium intake should be inversely proportional to sodium intake to reduce the risk of heart diseases (3). Hence make this change in your diet by including foods that are high in potassium and low in sodium content.
6. Eases Menstrual Pain
Menstrual cramps are the most annoying and distressing time of the month. Most women experience severe cramps, which could be excruciating. Papain, an enzyme in papaya, helps in the smooth flow of menstrual blood. Thus women who suffer from menstrual cramps should include papaya in their routine diet.
7. Prevents Ageing and Wrinkles
Papaya helps to build collagen in your body as it is a rich source of Vitamin C. This collagen results in binding your tissues together. It prevents wrinkles and reduces the signs of aging (4). A bowl of papaya per day benefits you by making you look younger.
8. Prompts Healthy Hair
Vitamin A in papaya helps in producing sebum that aids to keep hair moisturized. Because of vitamin A content, which is essential for epithelial maturation, papaya promotes hair health. One average papaya contains Vitamin C twice the recommended daily intake. Vitamin C is crucial as it is involved in collagen synthesis, which is the hair’s basic structure.
9. Boosts Immune System
Vitamin C in papaya helps to boost the immune system and keep several diseases under control. People deficient in vitamin C will have many symptoms like weakness, gum disease, anemia, and skin problems. Consume a bowl of papaya regularly to avoid such health problems.
10. Improves Eye Health
Papaya is rich in Vitamin A, which improves eyesight. As you age, your eyesight weakens due to macular degeneration (5). Eating papaya protects your vision. Zeaxanthin antioxidant in papaya flesh filters UV rays and shields retinal cells from damage. Also, a consistent intake of papaya decreases the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
11. Reduces Chance of Arthritis
Vitamin K in papaya reduces the risk of bone fracture. The deficiency of Vitamin K leads to arthritis. It improves calcium absorption and may reduce the urinary discharge of calcium, which is vital for bone health. A good supply of vitamin K is essential for good health.
12. Aids Weight Loss
Papaya is a good source of fiber and low in calories. Thus it helps in reducing weight. Consume enough papaya daily as it keeps you full for quite a while, reducing your hunger.
Papaya, tropical fruit is an excellent source of nutrients such as fiber, Vitamin A, and C, Potassium, etc.
It defends against wrinkles, aging, and recovers your skin from sun damage, making you look younger. Vitamin C in papaya improves heart health. Papain reduces menstrual cramps.
Include this delicious fruit in your routine diet to enjoy these numerous benefits.